Jesus Raises The Bar

You have heard that it was said…But I tell you…

The Teacher seems to be saying it is much more difficult to please God than anyone ever thought.

He raises the bar!

It isn’t just about our behavior, but what’s in our hearts!

Excuse me, but this is counterintuitive, isn’t it? Shouldn’t we expect the One who will usher in the Era of Grace to relax the standards?

After all, nobody ever managed to live up the old ones. Why increase them?

If this is the way it is, who can ever please God?


Precisely the Teacher’s point, I think.

By turning our eyes inward to the evil in our hearts, He undercuts any pretense that keeping a few rules of behavior will be enough to gain fellowship with God.

We see the startling truth. We are much farther from God than we thought. In fact, we are hopelessly distant.

The bar is too high for us. We throw up our hands. We give up.

Mission accomplished!

His students are now open to receive God’s plan – A Savior for sins and a Teacher who can actually change hearts.


  1. When we realize that it is impossible to measure up to God's standard of righteousness by our own efforts, it is really refreshing to know that Jesus measured up and paid the price for us. That knowledge should prompt gratefullness to Jesus and cause us to marvel at God's plan.

  2. Thank you Denny for pointing out that the seed of sin is planted in our hearts and also in our minds. The actual performance of the sin is only what was precipitated in the heart and mind. If we strive for clean hearts and minds, there will be very little room to plant the seed of sin. That is why I believe the most important commandment in the Bible is found in Eph. 5:1 – "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children." By imitating God in all our ways, we will plant seeds of righteousness and not sin.

  3. All a man's ways seem right to him,
    But the Lord weighs the heart. Prov 21:2

    Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Ps 51:10

    Jesu prayed, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Matt 6:13

    What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? THANKS BE TO GOD - Through JESUS CHRIST our LORD! Rom 7:24